My son Steven suggested that I blog about Musopen, the free online music collection.
Musopen’s Musical Mission
Musopen tells us that it is their mission is to set music free:
Musopen is an online music library of copyright free (public domain) music. We want to give the world access to music without the legal hassles so common today. There is a great deal of music that has expired copyrights, but almost no recordings of this music is in the public domain. We aim to record or obtain recordings that have no copyrights so that our visitors may listen, re-use, or in any way enjoy music. Put simply, our mission is to set music free.
Musopen was founded by Aaron Dunn while attending Skidmore College. The project began as an experiment and has since become one of the most popular public domain music sources on the web. Musopen’s goal is to be the largest online repository of music in the public domain. A good start is the release of the complete recordings of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas, all 32 of them, for free and without any copyrights. There are also many other classical works represented.
A Musical Sampling
Here are a few of my favorites I have downloaded from Musopen:
Johann Sebastian Bach — Minuet — Notebook for Anna Magdalena
Johann Sebastian Bach — Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006
Ludwig van Beethoven — Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor Moonlight, Op. 27 No. 2
Ludwig van Beethoven — Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67
Ludwig van Beethoven — Symphony No. 6 in F Major ‘Pastoral’, Op. 68
Edvard Grieg — Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
Felix Mendelssohn — Symphony No. 4 in A Major ‘Italian’, Op. 90
Of interest too is the access to public domain sheet music. It is simple to obtain with no strange formats or random wiki text. You can preview before you download or print, and there are live previews of sheet music. There is also available for order public domain sheet music for the cost of printing and shipping.
Bid For Music (no longer available)
Don’t see the music you want, then help bid for it. Here’s how it works. Decide how much you would be willing to pay for a piece of music to be in the public domain (copyright free). Musopen will combine your donation with others who want the same piece then find a professional to record and donate the work. It is then added to the website. A lot of small donations can be combined to contribute a great deal of new music. Musicians have the option to be considered to be paid to record for Musopen.